Electronic Speed Controllers

NEWS - The IBC is now complete and available - see the STORE for details

I'm sure everyone who has started building a robot has soon realised there is
one unique and difficult to do-it-yourself component of all robots.
The E.S.C.'s (Electronic Speed Controllers).

Motors, Batteries and Radio Controls are all easily understood items. But the key piece of circuitry in your Bot is that which listens to the Radio Control receiver, takes power from the batteries and delivers it to the motors. It is the nervous system of your Bot.and is critical to make your Bot respond to your commands exactly the way you tell it to, rather than lurching about out of your control..

Its also a complex piece of Hi-powered circuitry, which is why they are expensive.

Electronic Components that can handle the hundreds of amps necessary to drive a medium-to-large sized bot aren't cheap. Nor are the controllers simple to design. Try doing it yourself and unless you are an electronics guru, you will likely be making a lot of Magic Smoke as those Transistors explode under the strain.

Some people try and adapt Radio Control Servo's to mechanically drive Wheelchair joysticks, or variable resistors. Trust us, these methods just wont cut it. See if you can find a *single* competitive robot in Robot Wars or BattleBots that doesnt use ESC's - Why ? Theres a good reason for it. The alternatives dont work. Radio Interference, Sloppy mechanical Linkages, Unpredictable control, and lack of Fail-Safe's (making your robot unsafe to compete) will get you every time.

Most builders opt for the one of the commercial ESC's like IFI, Vantec, or 4QD. However, purchasing one of these controllers in Australia is *very* expensive due to our poor exchange rate with the USA or London where they are made..

Fortunately, the Gurus at RoboWars have spent many hours working on and fine tuning the battle-proven OSMC (Open Source Motor Controller) design of speed Controllers, and are producing an Australian made series of controllers that should cover all the weight classes from Hobbyweight to Super-Heavy's. We are also looking into distributing an American Antweight & Beetleweight Controller should there be demmand for this class.

The controllers listed below are presently in the Production Prototype stage, and are being built and tested on our Bots. Once they have undergone some serious testing, we will make them available to Australian Roboteers at a reasonable cost. Exact Prices have not yet been determined. If you are interested in using these controllers, please email controllers@robowars.org and tell us which models you are interested in.

note that the below pictures are software-rendered representations of the final controllers, and lack the heatsink/busbars and FET's that are on the controllers. They are for approximate illustration purposes only. Actual Photos will be online soon


The Micro Modular OSMC Brain (uMOB)

(65mm x 45mm)
This is the "Brain" of the Motor Control system.

It converts the signals from your standard Radio Control Receiver into P.W.M. signals suitable to drive TWO of the MMC or BMC controllers. It also provides a 3rd Dual-State "Auxillary"switch Channel for activating weapon or other relays.

It also provides the "Fail-Safe" functions (necessary to pass safety inpections) so if the radio signal is lost, your Bot stops safely.


The Medium Motor Controller (MMC)

(80mm x 80mm)
This is a 4-FET-Per-Leg controller rated to handle motors up to 200 Amps

Due to its Hi-Capacity Heatsinks, it will handle even higher current in brief bursts. It has a low-voltage regulator that keeps it operating even when your batteries drop as low as *4* volts. It requires a PWM drive signal from a uMOB.

An optional off-board Current Limiting Kit can be added
to prevent overloads from causing damage.


The BIG Motor Controller (BMC)

(170mm x 85mm)
This is a SERIOUS Motor Controller. With 8-Fets-Per-Leg of its H-Bridge,
this beast is capable of handling over *400* Amps of continous current !
Hi Capacity Heatsinks and BusBars will allow surges even higher than that.

It has optional Current AND Temperature Sensing and Limiting on board ,
making it near-indestructible. If you overload it, or short it out, the limiting
kicks in, and prevents damage. This controller will handle practically any
motor you can throw at it. It also has the low voltage switching regulator
to keep things stable when the batteries start to fade. Just the thing for
those with Hi-Powered ramming Motors or E-Teks.
It requires a drive singal from a uMOB